Archive for the 'Archive' Category

Collection Connection: Then and Now

Just last week the Museum released the DMA app, allowing visitors to engage with the collection, but the Museum has a long history of using technology to enhance the learning experience.

Students working with "Artifacts," the Museum's interactive computer video program during "The Shogun Age" in 1984.

Students working with Artifacts, the Museum’s interactive computer video program during The Shogun Age in 1984.

The first efforts began in 1984 when the DMA launched Artifacts (not to be confused with the 21st century version of Artifacts – the DMA Member magazine), a suite of interactive video computer programs that provided visitors a one-on-one learning experience for the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. “Combining visual images, through the use of video, with the stored information and access capability of a computer, a simple user-friendly system has been developed. Artifacts enable to the user to become involved with the program content rather than the mechanical operation of the machine, by the use of a light pen placed directly on a video monitor screen.”(DMA Bulletin, Summer 1984, page 27) Through Artifacts visitors were able to access information not available on text labels in the galleries providing context and greater appreciation of the artworks.

Today, a team of staff and intern programmers from Pariveda Solutions created the interactive app over the summer. Mary Mills, Administrator of Visual Resources, created Artifacts after two years of research and development, and had to learn both video production and computer programming, since Artifacts was the first system of its kind to be developed for an art museum.

The tools have vastly evolved over time but the idea of using technology to give visitors a more engaging experience at the DMA has stayed the same.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Riding With the Top Down

John Wise's Rolls Royce convertible, October 1971, John and Nora Wise Papers

John Wise’s Rolls Royce convertible, 1971, John and Nora Wise Papers

It’s summertime again in Texas, perfect for cruising the town in a convertible with the top down. Though convertibles can be useful for more than just feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face on a beautiful summer day. Other possibilities include . . .

Moving a large artwork . . .

Dallas artist Heri Bert Bartscht moving a sculpture in his convertible, Heri Bert Bartscht Papers

Dallas artist Heri Bert Bartscht moving a sculpture in his convertible, Heri Bert Bartscht Papers

Or, transporting a llama . . .

Sir Lancelot, a white llama, promoting "World of Ancient Gold" exhibition at the 1964 World's Fair, John and Nora Wise Papers

Sir Lancelot, a pure white llama, promoting the World of Ancient Gold exhibition at the 1964 World’s Fair, John and Nora Wise Papers

But admiring a beautiful Cadillac convertible in air-conditioned comfort is also nice . . .

Hot Cars, High Fashion, Cool Stuff : Designs for the 20th Century exhibition installation, March 31-July 14, 1996

Hot Cars, High Fashion, Cool Stuff : Designs of the 20th Century exhibition installation, March 31-July 14, 1996

Happy summer!

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the DMA.

Brothers and Sisters

Today is Brothers and Sisters Day, a day to cherish your siblings per the holiday’s description. I don’t have any siblings to cherish, but I did find some in the archives.

Jerry-Dick-Bywaters_001

In this photo, sculptor William Zorach is demonstrating sculpting to a group of young students at the Museum School in 1945. His models—seated on the table on the left side of the image—are sister and brother Jerry and Dick Bywaters, the children of then Museum director Jerry Bywaters.

Another set of siblings in the archives are Nora (Howell) Wise and Frank Howell. In 1976, the Museum acquired a collection of pre-Columbian art from Nora and her husband, John Wise; papers from John and Nora came to the Museum after Nora’s death. The papers include this postcard from Nora’s brother Frank, a solider in WWI, telling her that he was coming home.

My dear sister, “All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days. Best love to all, Frank

My dear sister,
“All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days.
Best love to all, Frank

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

From the Archives: The Museum During WWII

“No annual report, no discussion of affairs, at this time, can ignore the one major fact of this year: we are at war.”

This is the opening sentence of the Report of the Director, dated April 9, 1942, and published in the May-June 1942 Bulletin. The report goes on to describe the effects of the first months of WWII on the Museum. It sparked my interest to investigate how the Museum prepared for and supported the war effort.

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

I discovered that while many east and west coast museums focused on civil defense preparations, the DMFA (Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, which would later become the DMA) was able to focus its wartime efforts on offering cultural programs of wide general appeal, including exhibitions, musical performances, movies, gallery talks, art classes, and recreational activities. These programs were designed to support the service men and women stationed in the area and boost morale among the civilian residents of Dallas.

Twenty exhibitions representing the part that art plays in the war effort were assembled from army camps and individual artists in the Service and were held between 1942 and 1945.

Prints by British Artists in Service, July 1942
Red Cross Poster Exhibition, August 1942
British and American War Posters, September 1942
Art in War, July 4-August 8, 1943
Exhibition of Work by Soldiers from Camp Maxey, September 12-October 3, 1943
John Knott: War Cartoons, October 3-November 7, 1943
War Posters, October 10-31, 1943
Lt. Bill Lumpkins: Watercolors, December 1-21, 1943
Speak Their Language: British and American Cartoons, March 19-April 3, 1944
Pfc. Benham Dangers: Alaska Paintings, June 18-July 11, 1944
Costumes of 7 American Wars, June 18-July 16, 1944

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

Fred Darge: Paintings of Bougainville, July 2-August 1, 1944
Paintings from Camp Barkley, July 9-August 13, 1944
Alexandre Hogue: Aviation Production Drawings, October 15-November 3, 1944
[Pfc.] Walt Wiggins: Photographs, December 3-28, 1944
The Abbott Collection: Paintings of Naval Aviation, December 10, 1944-January 9, 1945

The Abbott Collection included over 100 paintings and drawings by seven nationally known American artists depicting the varied phases of naval aviation from pre-flight to combat. The artists visited Naval Air Stations and lived and talked with students, instructors, and fighter pilots in order to produce this important historical record of the Navy.

Mayor Woodall Rogers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Mayor Woodall Rodgers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Paintings from Frederick Army Air Field, December 31, 1944-January 30, 1945
Ben Culwell: War Paintings, March 4-16, 1945
Army Arts Exhibition-8th Service Command, April 29-May 13, 1945

The Army Arts exhibition included 191 works from 800 entries submitted. The jury consisted of Lt. Col. Ward Lockwood, Major Louis D. Smith, Lt. T.A. Reeves, Jr., DMFA Director Jerry Bywaters, and Dallas artist Allie Tennant. A national jury visited the Museum and chose 30 works to represent the 8th Service Command in the national exhibition in Washington, D.C.

War Bond House Organ Cover Designs Exhibition, July 15-29, 1945

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

In addition to programming, the Museum League sponsored a canteen for members of the Armed Services in the Museum’s Lounge every Sunday afternoon. The canteen is noted as one of the most appreciated activities by service men and women far from home. The Museum League also sold defense stamps, put on special events for soldiers and their wives, and generally worked to bring the Museum to the attention of those in the Armed Services.

Certificate of appreciation for the museum's wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters.

Certificate of appreciation for the Museum’s wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

 

 

Pollock for all Ages

Jackson Pollock tends to bring out art enthusiasts of all ages, and his two iconic works in the Museum’s collection have always been an important stop for visitors. The Dallas Museum of Art has a long history with Pollock; we were the first museum in the world to acquire one of his “classic period” works (Cathedral), and the DMA’s Portrait and a Dream is widely considered to be his last major art statement. Since both of these iconic works are on view in the current exhibition Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, we began exploring the archives and stumbled upon photos from a 1970s art tour focused on our impressive Pollock piece:

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock in 1976.

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock. Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

And then get to try their hand at drip paintings.

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Ten 3-5 year olds, who were participating in the Young Artists program started by Southern Methodist University’s fine arts education department, joined DMFA education staff at the Museum for an afternoon all about Pollock . . . and cookies.

See more photos in the November 21, 1976, article “What is Art?” by Clint Grant.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Haunting Opera

We were digging through the archives and found the photo below. The back states “‘The Sacrifice’ DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug).” We don’t know the full history of this photo but we thought it was a fitting image for Halloween. We hope your holiday is perhaps less eventful than this trio’s in the 1960s.

“The Sacrifice” DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug) L to R: Gene Mitchell, John Lunsford, Jerry Jane Smith

“The Sacrifice” DMFA comic opera 1962 (Aug); left to right: Gene Mitchell, John Lunsford, Jerry Jane Smith

 

 

The Wise Llama…part 2

The Wise Llama is one of my favorite posts that I have done for Uncrated. So, when I found more photos of the handsome Sir Lancelot while I was processing the John and Nora Wise Papers in the DMA Archives, I knew I had to share.

John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

Here is Sir Lancelot, a pure white llama, promoting John Wise’s exhibition World of Ancient Gold at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Nora Wise is behind Sir Lancelot, holding his reins.

The following two photos show Sir Lancelot enjoying treats and showing off his John Wise Ltd. accessory while posing for photos during his day at the Fair.

Fair Pictures International Corp. #190-2 John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

Fair Pictures International Corp. #190-2
John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

Fair Pictures International Corp. #190-4 John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

Fair Pictures International Corp. #190-4
John and Nora Wise Papers, DMA Archives

Sir Lancelot is by far the cutest llama in the archives . . . OK he is the only one, but he’s still adorable.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,280 other followers

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream

More Photos

Join Us on Facebook


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,280 other followers